Woah, Cool! How To Bend Metal Into Stacking Geometric Bangles
Ever thought that bending metal was impossible? Think again!
Our 12-inch metal tubes were all 1/8 of an inch thick, which we found to be the perfect thickness for easy bending. And since they all have hollow centers, copper wire seemed like a no-brainer way to clasp the shapes closed. Whether you keep their full metal coat or add a chic dipped-effect like we did to our set, this style DIY is a sure way to go out with a bang(le). ;)
– round copper 12-inch tubes (1/8 of an inch thick)
– square aluminum 12-inch tubes (1/8 of an inch thick)
– square brass 12-inch tubes (1/8 of an inch thick)
– 24 gauge copper wire
– white spray paint
– old bangle
– wire cutters
– flat needle nose jewelry pliers
– pencil + paper
1. Trace the outside of an old bangle onto a piece of paper, then draw geometric shapes around it using your ruler. This will ensure you don’t make your bangle too big or too small to fit your wrist.
2. Feed the copper wire through your tube, leaving about 10 inches of wire hanging out of one end. Then lay that end on a bottom corner of the shape you traced.
3. Following the angles of your drawing, bend the wire-fed tube with your hands. Or to make a circle, simple bend the tube around your bangle.
4. Once your shape is made, cut away any excess tubing. If you’re careful enough, you can do this without cutting the wire.
5. Using needle nosed pliers, grab the wire from the cut end (you may have to unbend your shape slightly for it to move) and pull the wire until it’s even on both ends.
6. Flatten the ends of tube with your pliers and twist the wire until it’s fully “braided” from bottom to top. Then, loop it around your bangle to secure.
7. To add a “dipped” effect, spray paint a portion of your bangle and let dry before you wear.
To start, you want to make sure your bracelets will be large enough to actually fit your wrist, so trace the outside of a bangle you already have to get an accurate measurement. Then draw your shapes around it—we thought a triangle would be fun to make first (just three easy angles!). Just make sure you string your tube with copper wire before you get to bending. Leave a good amount hanging out of the tube, about 10 inches or so.
Now place the end with the excess wire at one end along your drawing, then bend away! This 1/8 of an inch thick tube was the perfect thickness for this project: soft enough to bend by hand, yet sturdy enough to hold its shape. Next chop off any access tube—if you’re careful enough, you can do this without cutting through the wire. But if your snip does in fact leaves you wireless, or the wire won’t budge around the angles, don’t fret: just gently un-bend your shape until the wire is loose enough to pull.
Then pull the wire out from the cut end so that it’s equal on both sides, line up your shape, and get ready to do the twist!
Once you flatten your ends around the wire, twist the wire to make a “braid,” then wrap around the edge to close. And that’s how a geo bangle is born!
But how could you possibly stop at just one shape? We know we couldn’t! And so we tried our hands at a square, a pentagon, and a basic circle, which you can easily make by bending your tubing around an existing bangle.
So many shapes! If you’re into a more industrial look, you can totally leave these bangles as-is. We kind of love the contrasting copper wire on the brass and aluminum bangles, not to mention the sleek copper-on-copper ones. But if you want to chic ’em up a bit, grab a can of white spray paint and a piece of scrap paper—it’s time to get spraying!
Paint a little, paint a lot—it’s up to you—but just be sure to paint over the copper wire for a more polished finish.
Can you believe you just banged out all of these bangles? We’re smitten with every shape: the sleek copper circles, the remarkable square and pentagon, and the super trendy triangles. They’d each look great as their own sets, but what’s the fun of making them all if you don’t wear them all at the same time? It’s a question we’ll never know the answer to. ;)
We love the jagged patters the bangles create when they’re stacked on your wrist.
Two triangles and a circle seem like a perfect combo to us. But it’s also hip to be a square when you’re a metal bangle. ;)
What trends do you use as inspiration for DIY projects? Would you try your hand at making geometric jewelry or accessories? Talk to us in the comments below!